Symmetry, not asymmetry, of abdominal muscle morphology is associated with low back pain in cricket fast bowlers

Gray, Janine, Aginsky, Kerith D., Derman, Wayne, Vaughan, Christopher and Hodges, Paul W. (2015) Symmetry, not asymmetry, of abdominal muscle morphology is associated with low back pain in cricket fast bowlers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19 3: 222-226. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2015.04.009

Author Gray, Janine
Aginsky, Kerith D.
Derman, Wayne
Vaughan, Christopher
Hodges, Paul W.
Title Symmetry, not asymmetry, of abdominal muscle morphology is associated with low back pain in cricket fast bowlers
Journal name Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1878-1861
Publication date 2015-04-23
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2015.04.009
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 19
Issue 3
Start page 222
End page 226
Total pages 5
Place of publication Chatswood, NSW, Australia
Publisher Elsevier Australia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: Although abdominal muscle morphology is symmetrical in the general population, asymmetry has been identified in rotation sports. This asymmetry includes greater thickness of obliquus internus abdominis (OI) on the non-dominant side in cricketers. Cricket fast bowlers commonly experience low back pain (LBP) related to bowling action, and this depends on trunk muscle control. This study aimed to compare abdominal muscle thickness between fast bowlers with and without LBP.

Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.

Methods: Twenty-five adolescent provincial league specialist fast bowlers (16 with and 9 without LBP) participated. Static ultrasound images (US) of OI, and obliquus externus (OE) and transversus abdominis (TrA) were captured on the dominant and non-dominant side in supine.

Results: Total combined thickness of OE, OI and TrA muscles was greater on the non-dominant than dominant side (p = 0.02) for fast bowlers without LBP, but symmetrical for those with pain. Total thickness was less on the non-dominant side for bowlers with pain than those without (p = 0.03). When individual muscles were compared, only the thickness of OI was less in bowlers with LBP than those without (p = 0.02). All abdominal muscles were thicker on the non-dominant side in controls (p < 0.001) but symmetrical in LBP.

Conclusions: Asymmetry of abdominal muscle thickness in fast bowlers is explained by the asymmetrical biomechanics of fast bowling. Lesser OI muscle thickness in fast bowlers with LBP suggests modified trunk control in the transverse/frontal plane and may underpin the incidence of lumbar pathology. The implications for rehabilitation following LBP in fast bowlers require further investigation.
Keyword Ultrasound imaging
Abdominal muscles
Obliquus internus abdominis
Sports injury
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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